Today at work I am testing new system functionality which is a painstakingly detailed process. (Now stop! I know what you’re thinking. I thought yesterday was Father’s Day and now I am responsible for systems testing, yikes!) Anyway…detail work is difficult and you can get lost in the minutia.
I’ve talked about details before in writing and how you don’t want to get so bogged down that the scene you are describing is pages upon pages. Trust me when I tell you that readers will either check out or skip forward to the ‘action’. I have done it myself!
But details are vital in your story. Oftentimes they represent something important for your character which means it is important to your reader as well. Details can push plot along or develop character or provide emotion. Provide emotion? What they heck does that mean? I’m glad you asked. In my Golden Heart ® manuscript my heroine’s hair color professes her mood. And something as simple as a heart-shaped bracelet travels through the book on a rollercoaster of emotions for my heroine, from curiosity to fear to discovery and finally to recovery.
Did that little tease make you want to read my book? Good! As humans we attach emotions to things, whether it is a ring given to us as a child by our parents, or our highschool yearbook, or locks of hair from our firstborn child. Emotions and memories are linked to these items, so it makes sense that our characters and readers by extension feel this as well.
Beauty IS in the details!